A healthy liver may contain some fat. However, NAFLD occurs when the liver has trouble breaking down fats, causing excess fat to build-up in the liver. Mild fat accumulation usually does not result in inflammation of the liver. More severe fat accumulation can cause inflammation, and potential progression to cirrhosis (scarring of liver tissue). People who drink too much alcohol can get a condition similar to NAFLD, but NAFLD happens in people who do not drink alcohol or only a little alcohol.
We still have much to learn about the specific cause of NAFLD, but it is often associated with:
The amount of gas produced by the body depends upon your diet and other factors. Most people with symptoms of excessive gas do not produce more gas than the average person, but are more aware of normal amounts of gas.
Where does the gas come from?
Despite test results that show no evidence of their children having neither any detectable allergies to wheat nor any signs of celiac disease, many parents choose to have their children follow a gluten-free diet. This is because of convincing stories of how gluten (a protein found in wheat and other grains) seems to cause their kids to have belly aches, nausea, bloating and a variety of other symptoms.
For years, this was hard to explain without a scientific explanation. Gastroenterologists like me had a hard time supporting families who wanted to follow gluten free diets, without a good “medical reason”. Then, in 2011, researchers from Australia conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, rechallenge trial in nearly 3 dozen patients (none of whom had celiac disease or wheat allergy), all of whom described worsening symptoms when unknowingly ingesting small amounts of gluten. The results of this study described a condition termed, “Non-celiac gluten intolerance”. It was after reading this landmark study that many physicians, including myself, began to validate parents’ concerns about gluten being the culprit behind their children’s gastrointestinal (GI) problems.
But then in 2013, just as word of non-celiac gluten intolerance was gaining popularity amongst physicians like me, the exact same group of researchers from Australia published a follow-up study on a similar set of about 3 dozen patients. The findings of this 2nd study showed that instead...
“Every time my child eats, his belly hurts. I think he must have a food allergy. Can you help us?”
Countless times have I heard this from parents of children worried about foods being the cause of their child’s gastrointestinal (GI) complaints. Some families wonder whether their child should start a “gluten-free” or other type of dietary change. More often than not, families have already tried a few diets before meeting with me.
Parents considering these types of elimination diets need to be aware of a few key points:
The difference between “food allergy” and “food sensitivity”:
As we head into the final months before the law’s final compliance date, I thought I’d highlight a few other key points about this brand new law:
1. No symbols needed. The law does not require or recommend manufacturers use any particular symbol or food label, but if a label should include any of the following phrases, compliance must be ensured:
• “Free of gluten”
• “No gluten”
• “Without gluten”
2. It’s voluntary. A manufacturer may produce gluten-free foods, but just choose not to label them as such.
3. “Gluten-free” does not mean “zero gluten”. The new law defines "gluten-free" to mean that a food contains less than 20 parts per million (20 ppm) of gluten. (This tiny amount can be visualized as less than a tenth of a grain of salt on a slice of bread, and is acceptable as the standard for people with celiac disease).
4. As with any rule, there are exceptions. Although ...
Gluten is a hot topic these days, and is hitting the headlines again. Why? At the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology annual meeting, Dr. David Stukus (a pediatric allergist) set out to clarify frequent myths that he encounters in his practice. So, why is he saying that gluten allergies do not exist?
Gluten is a protein found in foods processed from wheat and related grain products. In celiac sprue (affecting up to 1% of adults), gluten intake leads to damage of the small intestine, impairing its ability to absorb nutrients. I like to imagine that a healthy small intestine is like a shag carpet, and small intestine affected by active celiac sprue is more like a tile floor. Celiac sprue is not a gluten allergy, but rather an autoimmune condition where the gluten is triggering an inflammatory response in the body.
Studies find that ...
An estimated 1.6 million Americans are currently following a gluten free diet, though many have never been diagnosed with celiac sprue (also known as celiac disease). Patients commonly ask me about celiac sprue and gluten free diets, so I will try to answer some of these questions. The first question I get is what is celiac sprue or celiac disease.
What is celiac sprue?
In celiac sprue, the ingestion of gluten causes inflammatory damage to the lining of the small intestine. Gluten is a protein, very common in our diet, found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats. (Ed. note - see this chart from the NIDDK that shows other ingredients and items that may contain gluten.) In people with celiac sprue, the usually large absorptive surface of the small intestine is flattened from damage, significantly limiting its ability to absorb nutrients.
Though celiac sprue is estimated to affect approximately 1.8 million Americans, many are unaware they have the disease.
What are the symptoms of celiac sprue?
Celiac sprue causes a variety of symptoms. They can range in intensity from very mild to debilitating. Some of the most common signs and symptoms are:.